I got my first Green Day CD when I was in 6th or 7th grade and I remember feeling transformed — not by the music (it was Nimrod for crying out loud), but by how I, Green Day CD Owner, would now appear to the outside world. This was about the same time that I began buying zip-off cargo pants and Cheshire Cat t-shirts from Hot Topic and, for some reason, wearing a visor backwards and upside-down. My friends, fellow Green Day fans, were spiking their hair with Elmers glue and donning mall-bought Anarchy t-shirts. Despite the fact that we were as mainstream as you could possibly get, we felt pretty punk rock. Sure, I can tell you now that this was silly — dumb even — but it was also kind of sweet in the way that a bunch of goofball kids trying to figure out their identities can be. We were all trying on social masks to see if one fit, all while being somehow both fake and sincere at the same time (a line only tweens can manage to walk).
Now, when a Green Day song comes on the radio while I’m at the grocery store, I view the band in the same way that I view my seventh grade self. It’s earnest, posturing, mainstream and not who I am any more. For the most part, Green Day’s music is written towards middle school sensibilities, leaving me, a grown woman with grown woman emotions and tastes, feeling pretty unfit to judge it unless it it’s blatantly offensive or harmful. It’s not for me. It’s for younger people with a younger understanding of love, anger and chord progression.
Which is why it should come as no surprise that Green Day is providing a song for the final Twilight installment. The emotional depth of the Twilight saga is well within their wheel house and appearing on the film’s soundtrack will keep them relevant among the fresh, wrinkle-free minds of the world’s youth whether we like it or not.
Do your thing, Green Day. I ain’t even mad.
P.S. Of course their Twilight song is called “The Forgotten.”